The Mediocrity of the New Covenant?

The Mediocrity of the New Covenant?

According to Reformed Theology, even the “good works” which Christians are called to do are “tainted by sin”. And on top of that, Reformed theology says these “good works” are only pleasing to God in so far as they are “covered by the blood and righteousness of Christ”. But if you stop and think about what this is saying, no Christian should be comfortable with such teaching. Why would God give us a new heart and give us the...

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Exegetical Gains vs. Theological Losses

Exegetical Gains vs. Theological Losses

I was recently hanging out with a PCA pastor friend, and we were discussing the exegetical and theological issues surrounding the Federal Vision. As you may know, one of the biggest difficulties one encounters when comparing the confessional Reformed theology with that of the Federal Vision is this: How are we to understand the New Testament’s descriptions of the baptized? For example, when Paul writes to “the saints  in...

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The Gospel as Perfect Love Casting Out Fear

The Gospel as Perfect Love Casting Out Fear

We have seen throughout this section of our series on gospel paradigms that all of the principal NT figures spoke and wrote as though their basic understanding of the gospel was that salvation comes through the New Covenant gift of the Spirit who accomplishes in God’s people what the law of Moses could not by enabling us to display the love of God and neighbor that the Father has desired all along. I have traced all of these elements in...

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The Gospel as Mercy’s Triumph Over Judgment

The Gospel as Mercy’s Triumph Over Judgment

As I have been arguing, once one realizes that the gospel paradigm he holds is one that would never give rise to the teachings of the New Testament concerning issues such as justification, works, and final salvation on the day of judgment, the question that he must ask is, “If someone holding my existing paradigm wouldn’t have said these things in this way, what kind of paradigm would result in teachings like these?” In my...

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The Gospel as Love of God and Neighbor

The Gospel as Love of God and Neighbor

We have spent quite a bit of time considering statements by Jesus, Paul, and James and discussing the question, “If these men were operating from a proto-Reformed paradigm, would they have said that ?” My argument has been that while the passages we have looked at may be able to be forced into a Reformed rubric, they would not have arisen from one. The next question that naturally arises in this enquiry is, “If a Reformed...

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On Being Graciously Worthy

On Being Graciously Worthy

If one’s understanding of the gospel is such that the only works that play a causal and contributory role in our gaining entrance into the eternal kingdom are Christ’s and never our own, and further, if distinguishing between Christ’s work imputed (justification) and our works done by the Spirit’s infusion of agape (sanctification) is essential to getting the gospel right, then one would certainly make every effort to...

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